Bee Roots for 2024-01-30

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: R/ACDFIT
  • Words: 55
  • Points: 259
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Wikipedia (ChickenGrass - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1AC5Strong & unpleasant taste or smell, adj., noun form is a pangram
1AD6Be carried by a current of air or water, verb/noun
1AF6Extramarital dalliance
1AI8Machine that flies
1AR7Region or scene of simple pleasure or quiet, city near LA, or mountainous southern region of Greece
1AR6North Pole adj. (… Circle or Ocean)
1AR4Opera solo
1AR4Dry (climate or land), adj.
1AR8Something made by a person, often of historical interest
1AT5Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
1AT5Flower oil for perfume
1AT7Entice, lure, or evoke (… attention; opposites …), verb
1CA5Unit of weight for gems, NOT bunny food
1CA4Thing used to play poker & bridge, noun; or ask for ID as proof of age before entry, verbified noun
1CA7Heart, medical adj. (… arrest)
1CA4Shopping trolley you push
1CA8Eye cloudiness, or waterfall
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CI6Tree genus that includes lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, or the fruit of those trees
1CR5“Arts & …s” movement or class
1CR6Fault-finder (“everyone’s a …”), or arts & dining reviewer
1DA4Spike thrown at a board
1DI9Accent or other pronunciation mark on a letter, NOT a fault-finder
1DI8Bend waves around the corners of an obstacle, pangram
1DR5Preliminary version of a piece of writing, noun/verb; or military conscription, noun/verb; or beer from a tap, noun/adj.
1DR4Mild exclamation of annoyance used by cartoon villains, anagram of spike thrown at board
1DR5Be carried by a current of air or water, verb/noun
1FA5Unit of electrical capacitance
1FA4Pass gas
1FR4College brotherhood abbr. (… boys)
1FR5Monk (… Tuck of “Robin Hood”)
1FR8Italian omelet
1RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
1RA5Distance from a point on a circle to the center
1RA6African palm tree, or its fiber in hats, mats, & baskets
1RA4Flat “boat” used by Huck Finn & Jim
1RA4Sudden attack, as in “air” or police;” or insect spray
1RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
1RA7Machine gun sound
1RI4Short repeated phrase in pop & jazz (guitar), noun/verb
1RI8Undesirable people, overflow room on “Ellen"
1RI4Crack in the earth, or breach in relations (Oculus … VR, or the Great … Valley in East Africa)
1TA6Import or export fee (steel…)
1TA4Open filled pastry, noun; or sharp taste, adj.
1TA6Fish sauce, or tooth buildup
1TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
1TR5Large land area, or body passage (“digestive …”)
1TR7Flow of cars and trucks (there's heavy … in the city today)
1TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
1TR5Group of 3

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout